Armitage Says Strong Marketing Ideas From HGTV And Vegetalis And A New Intergenetic Cross Grab Attention At Spring Trials

Allan and Laura at VegetalisToday’s visits were a lot of fun, with breathtaking views of both California and incredible plants at the various Trials we toured.

Dummen

Anybody who grows combo baskets has Dummen to thank for its blazing the trail with the Confetti series. It continues to add combinations, ensuring that plants in the containers work well together and that the colors appeal to the eye. The containers are so darn successful, they even appeal to my eyes.

As breathtaking as some of the Confettis were, I was most impressed with the new series of lobularia, the YOLO series (which in the pop culture world stands for “you only live once.”). I knew that, of course. The best one for me was YOLO White, with compact dense habit and clean white flowers.

Dummen is also bringing out some eye-popping begonias, my favorite being ‘Lucky Strike’ and ‘Miss Montreal,’ but others are equally handsome. Its association with Bartels Stek has provided many excellent perennials for their program, take a close look at their phlox, penstemon and heucherella.

HGTV heavy metals trendHGTV

Even though HGTV is relatively young, I believe this program can be wildly successful. It is all about lifestyles and a brand most people recognize and trust. The plants in the program appear to have been chosen with care and research.

Today, HGTV Home Plant Collection showed its annual program, which is in its second year, along with its new shrub and perennials selections. I believe this program will have something for everybody. Garden centers in particular should jump on board because of the brand recognition that HGTV brings. Any program like this is only as good as the people involved, and the people we have met bring professionalism and creativity to the brand.

Floranova

Floranova continues to breed excellent bedding material. Their new marigold with large flowers and short habits were exceptional, and their cool season violas are looking very, very good. I’ve always been impressed with the Sugar Rush wallflowers and the colors they are showing should make them an excellent plant this season and for many to come.

Two major items that caught my eye were the new Bossa Nova begonias — handsome boliviensis hybrids from seed. Four colors are available and all appear to have excellent greenhouse performance for hanging baskets and containers. I particularly liked the red, but the other three colors were also nice.

The vegetable program at Vegetalis continues to expand with many new items coming down the pipe. The major emphasis this year was on how to help the retailer make proper use of vegetables for the consumers walking in the door. With their carry-packs of vegetables that “play well” together, the retailer now has a product that can get the consumer excited to spend money on these functional items.

Windmill

Westoffs Lilac FallsWesthoff:The plant that was calling everyone’s name was ‘Lilac Falls,’ an intergeneric cross between Lamium and Stachys (seen here). I don’t know how this will do, but it is an excellent, low-growing plant with handsome lilac flowers and dark-green leaves. It’s brand new to the market place, so only time will tell how good it really is. It was also great fun to see a fragrant verbena, ‘Estrella Up Ballet Pink.’

Beekencamp: Relatively new in the American market, Beekencamp brings a rich history of breeding from Europe. One of its strengths is the breeding of begonias — and I was quite taken with the Encanto begonia series — they were vigorous, in good colors and potentially excellent performers.

Terra Nova: Terra Nova continues to bring a great diversity of outstanding perennials to the market place. I saw extraordinary heucheras, heucherellas and echinaceas and was really impressed with the Kudo agastache series. The other group of plants they do a great job on are nepeta, which have handsome blue flowers and a subtle smell of lemon.

Not known for annuals, nevertheless Terra Nova is bringing some really fine annuals to the market as well. I really love ‘Terra Nova Cuckoo’ coleus, which is unique when compared to upright forms.

PAC Elsnor: I believe PAC has a winner with their Angelos series of dwarf angelonias. The bicolors are excellent and the trailing forms of Angelos were exceptional and could be easily incorporated into combo hanging baskets. It is hard to get excited about verbena, but excited I was when I saw Vera verbena and the six colors on display. They were uniform, brilliant in color and would draw the eyes of any consumer in a garden center or landscape. The best was the deep red — it would be in my hands if I were shopping.

Plug Connection: I am potentially in love with grafted vegetables. I say potentially because I have never tried one. I understand the potential benefits of grafting onto a great root stock and believe this is a concept that could catch on if properly presented at the retailer level. It’s going to take some education and some POP to make this a mainstream item, but with the addition of grafted melons to their grafted tomato line, MightyMato, MightyMelon’s is just around the corner.

Skagit Gardens: My favorite at Skagit was ‘Embers Wish’ salvia. The bicolors stood out from all other salvias, and they are certainly more dwarf than others in the Wish series. It’s also good to see new colors of digiplexis coming out. I believe it is more of an annual than a perennial, but if properly presented and reasonably priced, it should do well.

 

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Business Management...
Status of Marijuana US Map May 2015

May 29, 2015

Marijuana Legalization Updates

As of April 2015, 23 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some capacity. At the federal level, several bills are currently awaiting action. Here is an update on current state and federal marijuana legislation across the U.S.

Read More
cannabis, marijuana plant

May 29, 2015

Making The Decision To Produce Medical Marijuana

Should horticultural growers consider cultivating medical marijuana? That’s up to the individual grower, of course, and certainly a number of growers already have jumped in. We at Meister Media Worldwide, publishers of Greenhouse Grower and American Vegetable Grower, do not necessarily endorse nor oppose the production of medical marijuana. But we do feel it is an option worth exploring. We intend our “Medical Marijuana” series of articles to give you information you need to make your own call. We hope you find it useful, and we do welcome your comments, thoughts and ideas as we continue to cover what we’re fairly certain is only going to be an increasingly viable and growing market for this emerging crop.

Read More
Double Whammy Merchandise Display At CAST2015

May 28, 2015

Grow Inspiration To Grow The Horticulture Industry

We need to work together as the horticulture industry to inspire and instruct consumers with our plant knowledge and marketing expertise.

Read More
Latest Stories
Status of Marijuana US Map May 2015

May 29, 2015

Marijuana Legalization Updates

As of April 2015, 23 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some capacity. At the federal level, several bills are currently awaiting action. Here is an update on current state and federal marijuana legislation across the U.S.

Read More
cannabis, marijuana plant

May 29, 2015

Making The Decision To Produce Medical Marijuana

Should horticultural growers consider cultivating medical marijuana? That’s up to the individual grower, of course, and certainly a number of growers already have jumped in. We at Meister Media Worldwide, publishers of Greenhouse Grower and American Vegetable Grower, do not necessarily endorse nor oppose the production of medical marijuana. But we do feel it is an option worth exploring. We intend our “Medical Marijuana” series of articles to give you information you need to make your own call. We hope you find it useful, and we do welcome your comments, thoughts and ideas as we continue to cover what we’re fairly certain is only going to be an increasingly viable and growing market for this emerging crop.

Read More
Double Whammy Merchandise Display At CAST2015

May 28, 2015

Grow Inspiration To Grow The Horticulture Industry

We need to work together as the horticulture industry to inspire and instruct consumers with our plant knowledge and marketing expertise.

Read More
Plant-Select_for-web

May 28, 2015

PlantSelect.org And FindPlants.net Assist Consumers Wit…

The recently launched PlantSelect.org and FindPlants.net websites offer growing and maintenance tips, where-to-buy information and design ideas to help consumers have success with growing and finding plants.

Read More
Cal-Poly fields

May 27, 2015

Cal-Poly Students And Faculty Ask Industry To Help Save…

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, has released an update to its Master Plan that indicates that almost all of its orchards, horticulture facilities and field sites could be repurposed for buildings, including residential, and/or recreational space. According to a letter from Scott Steinmaus, the horticulture and crop science department head, the proposed changes directly affect the current orchard plantings and other long term plans for the department. The department is committed to making sure that its facilities remain invaluable teaching environments that enable its students to learn about crop, fruit and horticulture production, food safety and pest protection, in addition to providing sites for externally funded research projects that benefit the industry. Industry members are invited to submit comments to the university. According to Steinmaus, a recent eMail to the Cal-Poly community from the university president indicates that all of the input gathered through the end of May will be studied by the planning […]

Read More
calliope dark red geranium

May 27, 2015

Leider Family Suffers Two Deaths

Industry veteran Jim Leider of Leider Greenhouses and his family suffered two losses this year, first with the death of his wife of 54 years, Peggy Leider, who passed away March 23, and more recently with the death of his and Peggy’s oldest son, Michael, who passed away May 24. Leider Greenhouses is a 117-year-old greenhouse operation based in Buffalo Grove, Ill., near Chicago. Margaret Lynch “Peggy” Leider, age 76 of Lake Bluff, Ill. and Ocean Ridge, Fla., succumbed to a long battle with cancer in March. Peggy attended Westchester College and Penn State University, and met her husband Jim at Cornell University. She moved to Chicago when they married, and was an avid supporter of the family greenhouse business, Leider’s Greenhouses. Peggy dedicated many hours of her time as a member of several organizations, including the Chicago Botanic Garden Women’s Board, Ravinia Festival Women’s Board and The Northwestern University […]

Read More
water

May 27, 2015

California Growers To Voluntarily Cut Back Water Use

Farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta have agreed to reduce their water use by 25 percent in exchange for assurance that they will not face further curtailment during the June-September growing season. The proposal was approved by the State Water Resources Control Board on Friday, May 22. “This proposal helps Delta growers manage the risk of potentially deeper curtailment, while ensuring significant water conservation efforts in this fourth year of drought,” State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus says. “It allows participating growers to share in the sacrifice that people throughout the state are facing because of the severe drought, while protecting their economic well-being by giving them some certainty regarding exercise of the State Water Board’s enforcement discretion at the beginning of the planting season.” Growers who participate in the program could opt to either reduce water diversions under their riparian rights by 25 percent, or fallow 25 percent of their land. In both cases, the […]

Read More
Four Star Greenhouse Proven Winner Plants At English Garden

May 26, 2015

Retailer To Grower: It’s Time To Offer Services To Loc…

Retailers wonder why mass merchants are the only ones to receive stocking, merchandising and plant care from growers.

Read More
Farwest2015

May 20, 2015

2015 Farwest Show Announces Second Annual Equipment Inn…

The second annual Equipment Innovation Day will be Tuesday, Aug. 25, prior to the 2015 Farwest show, which will be August 27-29 in Portland, Ore. Equipment Innovation Day, which was enthusiastically received in 2014, offers a real-time opportunity to see new heavy and automated nursery equipment in action. The demonstrations take place in manufacturing and nursery settings, adding value to the showcase. Attendees will be able to talk with participating manufacturers and learn first-hand from innovative growers who use the equipment in daily operations. The day-long event will be held at the main manufacturing plant of GK Machines, Inc., Donald, Ore. Further demonstrations of field equipment will take place at the nearby nursery of A&R Spada Farms, LLC. Bus travel to and from the event is planned, starting at and returning to the Oregon Convention Center. Attendees are welcome to provide their own travel to and from the site. Preregistration is required. The cost […]

Read More
Amy Daniel with daughters

May 20, 2015

Fall Creek Farm & Nursery’s Amy Daniel Suppor…

Amy Daniel, marketing and brand manager at Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, has a passion for marketing and branding that led her into the green industry early in her career, when she and a friend started their own agency, and she began helping her parents — then owners of a retail nursery — with marketing services. Daniel’s career in the field started in the 1980s, after she finished college with degrees in journalism and advertising. It wasn’t long before she began to feel frustrated with the status quo in the industry. She and a friend from college, agreeing there was a better way to do things, decided to start a business. “I guess now looking back, we were probably young and naive, but it all worked out really well,” Daniel says. “We started our own advertising agency/marketing and PR firm. I ran that for two decades. It was very successful.” […]

Read More
CCGGA-Scholarship-Winners

May 20, 2015

Central Coast Greenhouse Growers Association Awards 201…

The Central Coast Greenhouse Growers Association (CCGGA) is awarding 20 scholarships this year to high school and college students. CCGGA-member nurseries raised money for the scholarship fund and each donated a portion of the fundraising sales to the fund, which is open to students currently enrolled in college for the following year. The scholarship program is also available to students of employees who work at CCGGA-member nurseries One of the organization’s goals is to continue encouraging future generations to enter the horticulture field and to promote higher education within the families that work in the local nursery business. The 2015 CCGGA scholarship recipients are: Aloysia Shea – Nipomo High School Andrew McHaney – CSalinas High School Angel Flores – Righetti High School Beatriz Barajas – San Jose State University Carolanne Garibay – Monterey Peninsula College Cladia Lavina – Salinas High School Erica Marquez-Ibarra – San Jose State University Jorge Zarate […]

Read More

May 18, 2015

Download Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Top 100 Growers…

Greenhouse Grower‘s Top 100 Growers Survey revealed that our projections in the 2015 State Of The Industry report were correct: Growers, at least the large ones, are expanding. Greenhouse Grower’s annual Top 100 List ranks the largest U.S. growers by total square feet of environmentally controlled greenhouse space, although this year, we have also listed shade and field acreage, to give perspective on how large these operations are beyond the greenhouse. In total, the 2015 list represents 228,906,001 environmentally controlled square feet of U.S. production, a 5 percent increase over 2014. All told, 26 growers reported that their operation grew between 2014 and 2015. Several growers reduced their production over the past year, as well, and while some operations’ downsized numbers were significant, most were slight and probably typical of the give-and-take in the horticulture industry. Greenhouse Grower‘s 2015 Top 100 Growers Whitepaper includes all the results of the survey, […]

Read More
New Guinea Impatiens

May 14, 2015

10 Tips To Improve Retail Shelf Life Of Bedding Plants

Good-looking plants at retail lead to stronger sales and less postharvest shrink. Try these 10 ideas for maintaining quality and keeping plants looking beautiful.

Read More
Vegetables with knife

May 14, 2015

Keeping Your Fruits And Vegetables Safe: Best Practices…

Part three of the food safety series focuses on worker hygiene, visitor policies and other biosecurity measures to safeguard the greenhouse.

Read More
Janeen Wright

May 13, 2015

Don’t Let Labels Be A Limitation To Your Greenhou…

Whether you label yourself or your business as average, extraordinary or innovative, make sure that what you don’t do is let that label define who you are and what your business can become.

Read More
USDA Logo

May 13, 2015

New Report Shows College Graduates With Agriculture Deg…

A new report from the USDA shows high demand for recent college graduates with agriculture degrees, with an estimated 57,900  high-skilled job openings annually in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environment fields in the U.S. According to an employment outlook report released by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Purdue University, there is an average of 35,400 new U.S. graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher in agriculture related fields, 22,500 short of the jobs available annually. “There is incredible opportunity for highly-skilled jobs in agriculture,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Those receiving degrees in agricultural fields can expect to have ample career opportunities. Not only will those who study agriculture be likely to get well-paying jobs upon graduation, they will also have the satisfaction of working in a field that addresses some of the world’s most pressing challenges. These jobs will only become more […]

Read More
people-of-Battlefield

May 13, 2015

Battlefield Farms Receives MPS-A Qualification

Battlefield Farms, Inc., in Rapidan, Va., has been awarded the MPS-A qualification after becoming a participant for MPS-ABC in 2010. After four years of showing effort and improvement, the company has been awarded the qualification.

Read More
Amanda and Janeen

May 12, 2015

Two Greenhouse Grower Team Members Are Promoted

Janeen Wright is now Managing Editor and Amanda Gallagher is Associate Editor / Online Editor, reflecting their hard work on Greenhouse Grower.

Read More